A study published in the British Medical Journal, tested different back pain treatments using patients from 64 general practices in England.
FROM: Jean-Louis Rodrigue and Kristof Konrad
UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 21, 2008
MAJOR STUDY PUBLISHED IN THE BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL FINDS THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE MOST EFFECTIVE AT REDUCING BACK PAIN.
Professor Jean-Louis Rodrigue has taught the Alexander Technique in the Theater Department since 1988 and has spread its training and practice to the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. Rodrigue also is a member of the faculty at the UCLA Collaborative Centers for Integrative Medicine, offering lectures and workshops for the medical staff, students and patients of the Geffen Medical Center. Now, a recent study funded by the Medical Research Council and the NHS Research and Development fund finds long-term pain can be relieved through study of the Alexander Technique.
The study published in the British Medical Journal, tested different back pain treatments using patients from 64 general practices in England. A total of 579 patients with chronic pain or recurrent low back pain participated; 144 were given “normal care”, 147 had massages, 144 took Alexander Technique lessons. Half of each group was also prescribed an aerobic exercise plan, primarily walking.
The team of researchers, from the University of Southhampton and the University of Bristol, evaluated participants before and after treatments by two primary measurers. First, researchers measured disability, based on questions about activities limited by pain. Secondly, researchers asked about the number of days in pain in the past four weeks. After a year of treatment, patients receiving Alexander lessons reported experiencing just three days of pain, compared to 21 days for those given normal care by their doctor.
The patients who saw the biggest improvement were the ones who took the Alexander Technique lessons and also were prescribed an exercise plan. The improvements still held after one year, while massage’s benefits waned after three months.
Leaders in the field of mind/body medicine and behavioral sciences throughout this century have supported Alexander’s innovative research. Clinical studies have shown that the Technique improves breathing capacity and posture, modifies stress responses and is, for those who suffer from chronic pain, the preferred method for long-term relief.
Noted performing artists have used the Alexander Technique including Julie Andrews, Sting, Sir Colin Davis, William Hurt, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Juliette Binoche, Lynn Redgrave, Maggie Smith, Judy Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Robin Williams, Paul McCartney, Josh Brolin, Hilary Swank, Heath Ledger, Joanne Woodward, Paul Newman, Herb Alpert, and JoBeth Williams.
Jean-Louis Rodrigue and his associate, Kristof Konrad are members of AmSAT, the American Society of the Alexander Technique and teach privately in the Westwood area and can be contacted at:
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